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Majgrevefesten: En kulturhistorisk analys

Gerward, Gullan (1996)
Abstract
The dissertltion is a cultural-historical analysis of the feast of the Lord of May in a complex and socially conditioned setting. The method follows that of the historically oriented ethnology of the Munich school. As regards theory, I have been inspired by the civilization theory of Norbert Elias and by Robert Darnton's studies of groups of actors and their strategies. I have also found support in Mikhail Bakhtin's analysis of the popular culture of laughter, and in Dietz-Rüdiger Moser and Jürgen Küster's interpretation of Lent as a liturgical feast. In applying anthropological methods to historical material, I have been inspired by Sydel Silverman.



On the basis of newly compiled material and previously known primary... (More)
The dissertltion is a cultural-historical analysis of the feast of the Lord of May in a complex and socially conditioned setting. The method follows that of the historically oriented ethnology of the Munich school. As regards theory, I have been inspired by the civilization theory of Norbert Elias and by Robert Darnton's studies of groups of actors and their strategies. I have also found support in Mikhail Bakhtin's analysis of the popular culture of laughter, and in Dietz-Rüdiger Moser and Jürgen Küster's interpretation of Lent as a liturgical feast. In applying anthropological methods to historical material, I have been inspired by Sydel Silverman.



On the basis of newly compiled material and previously known primary sources, I seek to reconstruct the feast of the Lord of May in its social and cultural context in the former Danish cultural area, against the background of a continental festive pattern. The study focuses on the actors and audience of the feast. The aim is to interpret the actual performance and the symbolic intentions of the pattern of action, as well as the underlying motive forces in a shifting social and ideological field of tension.



One of the most important findings is the elucidation of a segmented festive pattern which was attached in an increasing number of variants to different days in the spring and early summer, from Lent to Midsummer. Different groups - merchants, craftsmen, peasants, students, schoolboys, and servants - took over the feast of the Lord of May in a specific order and acted during different periods, often with considerable overlaps, over a space of time from the late Middle Ages until about 1870. The group celebrating the feast was always in a subordinate position and was forced to act strategically to retain the feast. The actors entertained the public while simultaneously mocking the authorities. The behaviour of servant folk during the feast was the reverse of the submissiveness demanded by the authorities and imprinted by the church. When the shifting forms of the May festivities are related to social and ideological tensions, they no longer appear like a motley collection of festive elements and feast days but rather as the result of a functional and strategic adaptation of one and the same feast. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • unknown], [unknown
alternative title
The Feast of the Lord of May: A Cultural-Historical Analysis
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
May festivities, Lent, Lord of May, Whitsun bride, cultural history, civilization process, social structure, Cultural anthropology, ethnology, Kulturantropologi, etnologi
pages
244 pages
publisher
Carlsson Bokförlag
defense location
Hus Eden, Paradisgatan 5
defense date
1996-05-30 10:15
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN: LUHFDA/HFET--96/1026--SE:244
ISBN
91-7203-116-6
language
Swedish
LU publication?
no
id
af752b7f-bf72-4fcd-abe1-6f8eaad11201 (old id 17683)
date added to LUP
2007-05-24 09:16:23
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:09
@phdthesis{af752b7f-bf72-4fcd-abe1-6f8eaad11201,
  abstract     = {The dissertltion is a cultural-historical analysis of the feast of the Lord of May in a complex and socially conditioned setting. The method follows that of the historically oriented ethnology of the Munich school. As regards theory, I have been inspired by the civilization theory of Norbert Elias and by Robert Darnton's studies of groups of actors and their strategies. I have also found support in Mikhail Bakhtin's analysis of the popular culture of laughter, and in Dietz-Rüdiger Moser and Jürgen Küster's interpretation of Lent as a liturgical feast. In applying anthropological methods to historical material, I have been inspired by Sydel Silverman.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
On the basis of newly compiled material and previously known primary sources, I seek to reconstruct the feast of the Lord of May in its social and cultural context in the former Danish cultural area, against the background of a continental festive pattern. The study focuses on the actors and audience of the feast. The aim is to interpret the actual performance and the symbolic intentions of the pattern of action, as well as the underlying motive forces in a shifting social and ideological field of tension.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
One of the most important findings is the elucidation of a segmented festive pattern which was attached in an increasing number of variants to different days in the spring and early summer, from Lent to Midsummer. Different groups - merchants, craftsmen, peasants, students, schoolboys, and servants - took over the feast of the Lord of May in a specific order and acted during different periods, often with considerable overlaps, over a space of time from the late Middle Ages until about 1870. The group celebrating the feast was always in a subordinate position and was forced to act strategically to retain the feast. The actors entertained the public while simultaneously mocking the authorities. The behaviour of servant folk during the feast was the reverse of the submissiveness demanded by the authorities and imprinted by the church. When the shifting forms of the May festivities are related to social and ideological tensions, they no longer appear like a motley collection of festive elements and feast days but rather as the result of a functional and strategic adaptation of one and the same feast.},
  author       = {Gerward, Gullan},
  isbn         = {91-7203-116-6},
  keyword      = {May festivities,Lent,Lord of May,Whitsun bride,cultural history,civilization process,social structure,Cultural anthropology,ethnology,Kulturantropologi,etnologi},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {244},
  publisher    = {Carlsson Bokförlag},
  title        = {Majgrevefesten: En kulturhistorisk analys},
  year         = {1996},
}